Last updated on January 18th, 2023 at 09:46 am.
Our Mark Twain quotes feature the beloved Missouri-born author at his absolute best. We’ve chosen our favorite funny Mark Twain quotes to put a smile on your face and to contemplate how timeless his words are even today.
Growing up in the Show-Me State of Missouri had a definite impact on Mark Twain’s life experiences and his sense of humor. Twain’s life is chronicled by his writing and sayings; both wise and oftentimes funny.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens – Twain’s real name – was born in 1835 in Florida Missouri. His family later moved to Hannibal, Missouri where his experiences on the river set the stage for novels such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers; William Faulkner called Twain “the father of American literature”. He was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty during his lifetime.
Enjoy some of our favorite funny Mark Twain quotes.
Our Favorite Funny Quotes by Mark Twain
There are hundreds of Mark Twain quotes and some of the ones that have lasted the test of time are the Mark Twain funny quotes.
1. “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.”
2. “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”
3. “I was educated once—it took me years to get over it.”
4. “I was born modest, but it didn’t last.”
5. “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”
6. “We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.”
7. “No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot.”
8. “Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.”
9. “A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.”
10. “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
11. “Laughter without a tinge of philosophy is but a sneeze of humor. Genuine humor is replete with wisdom.”
12. “To eat is human; to digest, divine.”
13. “There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined.”
14. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
15. “The funniest things are forbidden.”
16. “If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go.
17. “There is no sadder thing than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.”
18. “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
19. “Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.”
Famous Mark Twain Quotes
Twain tried several careers during his lifetime. He became a riverboat pilot, printer, gold miner, journalist and traveled across the country trying additional jobs, and worked for his brother’s newspaper.
The experiences led to more than one famous quote from Mark Twain. Many of them are funny, and all of them make you think, such as these:
20. “Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
21. “The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”
22. “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”
23. “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”
24. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
25. “Work is a necessary evil to be avoided”.
26. “I don’t like to commit myself to heaven and hell—you see, I have friends in both places.”
Mark Twain Sense of Humor
Twain did not have a college education. He learned through apprenticeships and job experience, as many do. He did not believe in people’s praise, but instead, he found humor in reflecting on the stupidity of people.
Here are some of the best Mark Twain humor quotes:
27. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
28. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read”.
29. “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
30. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
31. “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”
32. “All generalizations are false, including this one.”
33. “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them, the rest of us could not succeed.”
34. It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
35. “The trouble ain’t that there are too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.”
36. “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
37. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.”
38. “All good things arrive unto them that wait and don’t die in the meantime.”
39. “Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”
Mark Twain: America’s First Stand-up Comedian
Twain is believed by many to be America’s first stand-up comedian. In 1894, he began his world tour in India and other English-speaking countries.
During his stand-up performances, he never cracked a smile. He did not use notes and spoke from memory during the 90-minute show.
His122 nights of performances occurred when he was in his late 50s. Here are a few more funny and famous Mark Twain quotes:
40. “Men are like bank accounts. The more money they have, the more interest they generate.”
41. “When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.”
42. “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”
43. “No real gentleman will tell the naked truth in the presence of ladies.”
44. “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it a thousand times.”
45. “Behind every successful man, there is a woman – And behind every unsuccessful man, there are two.”
46. “Classic – a book which people praise and don’t read.”
47. “All of us contain music and truth, but most of us can’t get it out.”
Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
One of the most important humor awards in the United States is named after Mark Twain. The prize honors humorists who have made a lasting impact on American society and attained success in generating their own type of humor, as Twain did.
The first Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was awarded to Richard Pryor in 1998. Other recipients of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor have been Jonathan Winters, Whoopie Goldberg, and others. The award is presented at a ceremony held at the Kennedy Center during the Celebration of American Humor. The prize is a bust of Mark Twain.
Let’s keep the humor going with a few more famous quotes by Mark Twain:
48. “Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.”
49. “Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn’t any. But this wrongs the jackass.”
50. “I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.”
51. “Action speaks louder than words but nearly as often.”
52. “Be good and you will be lonesome.”
53. “Familiarity breeds contempt –and children.”
Mark Twain Comedy
Twain always seemed to see the positive side to any situation. He used the pen name of Mark Twain as he wrote novels such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He took the name from his old riverboat pilot years earlier.
Twain studied people wherever he went and was able to sum up so much of life within a string of words that often became famous sayings. Some of the best Mark Twain quotes are his reflections of the human race and all of the idiosyncrasies of people.
54. “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
55. “Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink – under any circumstances.”
56. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
57. “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir…mightly scarce.”
58. “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.”
59. “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”
Mark Twain’s Connection to Missouri
Samuel Clemens, better known to the world as Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. In 1839, at the age of four, his family moved to the port town on the Mississippi River of Hannibal, Missouri in search of more opportunities.
His stories in Missouri and down the Mississippi River became known as frontier humor.
There are many stories of how Mark Twain got his pen name, but it is said he usually claimed that he got his pen name from a riverboat captain.
Twain wrote over 20 novels in his lifetime. He also wrote many quotes full of his unique humor and descriptions of humanity’s behavior. Twain’s ability to string together the right word is a good thing for all of us who are left with his words of wisdom!
Twain’s sense of humor and viewing the world through satire may have been his best way of overcoming his personal fears. He realized that the only way to overcome this fear was to live the best life possible, and said that “Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: This is the ideal life.”
More Famous Mark Twain Quotes (Full of humor)
60. “ Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: This is the ideal life.”
61. “April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four”.
63. “Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”
64. “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it”.
65. “A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants.”
66. “Nothing spoils a good story like the arrival of an eyewitness.”
67. “History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.”
The wisdom Mark Twain shared through his humorous and timely stories still rings true today. So many of the Mark Twain quotes are full of wisdom and so many are just funny!
Mark Twain contributed a lot to the world through his writing. As he reflected late in life, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened,”
We hope you have enjoyed our list of funny quotes from Mark Twain. But if this list didn’t quench your Mark Twain thirst, check out this list of 50+ Legendary Mark Twain Quotes About Life.
What’s your favorite quote from Mark Twain? What other lessons did you get from this collection? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.